Former Test pace bowler Heath Davis has become the first male New Zealand international cricketer to come out as gay, still a rarity in the professional game.
Davis, now 50 and living in Australia, played five tests and 11 one-day internationals from 1994 to 1997 as well as enjoying a lengthy domestic career as a quick but erratic fast bowler.
“I felt there was this part of my life that I was hiding,” he said in an interview with online magazine The Spinoff.
“There was a lot of that, just keeping your personal life separate. It was lonely … I was repressing it, I wasn’t living a gay life.”
Davis said life improved after a move from his native Wellington to play domestic cricket in the more cosmopolitan city of Auckland in 1997.
“I felt there was this part of my life I needed to express, I was sick of hiding it,” he added.
“Everyone in Auckland knew I was gay, in the team, but it didn’t seem to be that big an issue … I just felt free.”
Former England wicketkeeper Steven Davies became the first male international cricketer to publicly come out as gay in early 2011.